Last year, Beloit-based author Rausea “R.R.” Moore made a declaration that he would publish 12 books within 12 months during the pandemic.
“I’ve done eleven. I have one more left to go but they’re all anthologies,” the author told Madison365.
These books feature a collection of work from local writers and poets as well as children’s books. Moore plans to release the second children’s book in mid-September.
“I’ve been writing books for 10 years plus so I have a decent fan base,” he said.
The self-published writer began his career focusing on urban noir, a category of modern crime fiction often in a grim urban setting. Moore also published the Porter Avenue series that includes Rest In Greed, Resurrected In Riches, After The Eulogy and Moment Of Silence.
“These books are about poetry but back in 2009, I was writing novels. Poetry had nothing to do with my life,” he said.
Prior to the pandemic, Moore presented the Night of Words series at Cafe Coda on Williamson Street on Madison’s near east side where he shared the stage with different poets. The venue hosts a variety of contemporary and creative musical performances, workshops and masterclasses.
“Cafe Coda is a jazz spot. Jazz and spoken word are like cousins. They match,” Moore said.
When he had the stage, he would give each performer a set of tickets to sell. Then, all the performers for that night would split the profit but then coronavirus changed things.
“COVID hit and I didn’t know what to do,” Moore said.
He already planned on writing a new book before the pandemic, however, he wanted to replicate the shared stage at Cafe Coda. Moore set out to assemble an anthology of different artists after figuring out how to set up royalties for contributors through his publisher.
“I’ve always published all of my books through Lulu. If there’s ten people in the book, all those people can get paid through Lulu,” Moore said.
For this collection of work, he reached out to some of the performers from Cafe Coda and some new ones as well. Also, each book has a different theme.
“That way it’s not repetitive. You get something different every month,” Moore said. “I did one book just by myself and that was a collection of all short poems.”
Some books include poems written by all Black men while others feature pieces written by Black women. At first, he said working on such an ambitious project caused him a lot of stress, especially since it’s just him, but then operations started to pick up.
“Now, I’m constantly seeing it on social media. If I haven’t posted, it’s someone who wrote something in the book or seen it,” Moore said.
Moore has consistently pushed the book whether on Radio 22 or as a vendor. He hopes more people will continue to purchase a copy of one or more of the books online.
“I want people to support it because at this point you’re not just supporting me. You’re supporting dozens and dozens of writers. Most of these writers have never been published before,” Moore said.